Love the One You’re With: How to Travel Without Killing Each Other

Kelly Westhoff admirably shares her first experiences as a married woman during her backpacking trip with her new husband. Is it the honeymoon she always dreamed of? Find out if it was by reading about their trek 6 month trek through 8 countries!

Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.

Soon after we got married, my husband and I quit our jobs and hit the road. We traveled through eight countries in six months — Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.

Since returning home, we’ve discovered that family, friends, and curious acquaintances ask the same questions again and again. One of those questions is…

Did you fight?

Of course. No couple can spend 180 days together without having at least one argument. We had many. Most were petty, but there was this one fight in Chile…

Well, perhaps the details of that particular big blow are better kept private. Suffice it to say, we did quarrel our way about the globe. But we also laughed a lot.

When it comes to surviving long haul budget travel with a partner, the better question, the one I’m interested in answering here is… How did we make it half way around the globe without killing one another?

We gave each other space

When you’re out of your element and in a foreign land, it’s tempting to keep your loved one close. Of course you don’t want to lose him (or her) in a strange city, but if you step back and evaluate your reasons for holding on so tight, you’ll probably see that you’re hanging on to temper your own comfort. Eventually you’ll both end up feeling claustrophobic.

Allow yourselves to separate. Go to different Internet cafes and agree to reconnect a few hours later. Send one person out for water while the other hauls a bag of dirty clothes to the laundry lady.

Let one person have a slow morning in the shower while the other goes down the street for coffee. Even if you meet up in 30 minutes for a joint breakfast, the time apart will do you good.

Love the One You’re With: How to Travel Without Killing Each Other